Cold Call

I usually avoid writing too much about work but this isn’t about my employer so I think it will be okay.

Not long ago a copier salesguy came by the office to tell us about his company. In my career I have told approximately 20,000 of these guys to take a hike but on this day, I was interested.

I welcomed him in, told him we would be looking at copiers soon. I showed him the copier we had and what the terms were and explained what we were looking for.

Him: Can you give me a copy of your copier lease?

No, I said.

He returned another day with his manager and they continued their spiel and brought some pictures of copiers and told us about some other services that we’d expressed an interest in.

Them: Can we get a copy of your copier lease?

No, we said.

Later I asked for a good faith estimate that we could use for our budget to take to our boss. I gave him at least 3 weeks. Two days before the I needed the numbers I followed up and asked if he could get me an estimate. Didn’t hear from him.

Over a week later I got an email.

Him: Can I get a copy of your copier lease so I can get you that estimate?

No, I said, and it’s too late anyway.

Later I told him we were seeking proposals and I sent him a sheet explaining what we were looking for and reminded him what we already had and what we were paying.

He sent me back an email that said what we were looking for didn’t need a proposal and they would lease us a machine and charge us based on what we used.

For reasons not related to this story, we’ve had to delay getting the new copier.

I just about dropped my teeth when a few weeks ago a different salesguy from the same company came in here to ask me if I was interested in talking about copiers.

I told him the entire backstory and he made an appointment to bring his manager in.

I had to cancel it because we had something going on here and when I called he informed me that *he* had to cancel and was intending to tell me this, “soon.” He would call back to reschedule.

And I’ve never heard from him.

Clearly, we decided not to do business with these people a long time ago. Colleague has asked me to stop talking to them.

But I’m dying to see how far this thing will go. How many times we can ask and still not have one useful piece of data about what their company can do for us?

[Note: I updated the post to clarify that they wanted to see our copier lease.]

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2 Responses to Cold Call

  1. jessica says:

    I’m still laughing over the description of your shower door experience, I’m so glad you didn’t cut your foot off and bleed to death.

    I am fascinated by these horrible salespeople. What on earth would your office lease have to do with buying or renting a copier?

  2. Kristin Janz says:

    Was it your office lease they wanted to see, or the lease for your current copier, which you were presumably renting from a different company? I was assuming the latter, and that this whole thing was an attempted intelligence-gathering mission where they’re trying to figure out the details of their competitors’ agreements with various offices.

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